Venture Kick awarded CHF 150’000 to metaLead, a BioTech UZH spinoff project, which is developing next-gen antidotes against toxic metals.
Currently available drugs used to treat lead poisoning are ineffective and suffer from high toxicity. More than 90% of the patients cannot be currently treated against this systemic toxicant. metaLead wants to address this problem by developing short peptides that could improve the state of therapy, are safer, and more potent in human cells and animal models. Their method binds only toxic metals while not binding metals essential to metabolism (such as calcium and zinc), which also makes it safe for children and pregnant women.
metaLead will use the funding from Venture Kick to nationalize the patent and expand the research and development of their solution.
The spinoff project is led by Dr. Michal Shoshan and is based on her research at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Zürich. She has already filed two patents and is currently testing the efficacy of additional compounds against mercury, arsenic, and copper. Dr. Shoshan and her group are also supported through a UZH Entrepreneur Fellowship, where they are working on developing next-generation technologies against metal poisoning for medical and environmental applications.